In the spot of the ancient city of Oxyrhynchos, only a lonesome column still exists to symbolize the city's former glory. That is until the marvellous find of a garbage heap full of papyri and scraps hereof that give an extraordinary view into the ordinary life of Oxyrhynchite in the 1st to the 5th century AD. Through the "trash" springs evidence of government, business, family and social affairs, religion, and the private sphere in the Greek-Egyptian city under Roman influence.
Peter Parsons' book is a thorough and well-rounded depiction of life in Oxyrhynchos, which I would recommend to scholars and laypersons alike. For a layperson, "City of the Sharp-Nosed Fish" is truly inspiring. The picture of the city and its inhabitants is so vivid that it fuels the need for more knowledge on various subjects: Greek Egypt in the first centuries AD, the Oxyrhynchos papyri, and for me letter-writing as well.
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